Have you ever received a strange email in your inbox purporting to have come from companies such as eBay, Amazon, PayPal or your bank?
Fraudulent ‘phishing’ inbox scams seem to have increased in frequency recently, with criminals profiting at the expense of frightened email users.
The effects can be quite devastating and in most cases people have no recourse to having their money returned.
But can it be prevented? What can you do to keep safe?
This week Amazon sent out an email alerting users about the dangers of phishing.
On identifying dodgy approaches, Amazon recommends:
– Check the sender’s complete email address, even if “Amazon” is included. Examples of phishing emails: addresses ending in @amazon-service.de or @amazonDE.de.
– Check for spelling or grammatical errors.
– Do not click any link in the email but enter the URL in your browser. Also check for spelling mistakes (e.g. amzon).
– Be cautious if you are asked to act urgently and are given a deadline (e.g Your account will be automatically blocked).
– Check your email address. Amazon sends all messages to the email address stored in your seller account.
Bearing the above in mind, I recommend you always go to your Amazon account and deal with any issue or notification from them there, rather than by email.
And it isn’t just emails that can contain fraudulent claims, but phone calls too – so beware anyone claiming to be from your bank with instructions you on moving money in your account.
In the event if you suspect your Amazon account – or indeed any account – has been violated by a virus or other methods, Amazon advise the following:
– Ensure you have up-to-date virus software protection
– Change your logins and PINs
– Contact Seller Support, your bank and check your seller name has not been changed
– Check your inventory and ensure all is correct. If there are any items that should not be there, delete them immediately
I can see how people are caught out. Scam emails can often be unsettling – I myself have received fake ones claiming to be from PayPal insisting unless I take immediate action my account will be closed.
What responsible seller wouldn’t feel like they have to sort out any such issue, especially when phishing emails look so authentic?
But let me stress again – check out any information from Amazon from your account directly, rather than any email you may receive… even if it turns out to be a genuine email.
Finally, if you do receive phishing emails, report them to the company they are claiming to be from. These criminals must be stopped!
Here’s how to report email scams to Amazon:
– Send an email to email@example.com, attaching the original phishing email.
– If you cannot send the email as an attachment, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
eBay and PayPal also have a similar reporting procedures, as will your bank.
Please stay safe and don’t be caught out by these dreadful fraudsters.